Money, Time, and Happiness: We Polled Philly Teachers About How Much They Like Their Jobs

We asked 100 local teachers to spill on everything from social media to how they’d spend an extra $1,000.

Teachers like their jobs

Do teachers like their jobs? What do they think about social media? We asked. Photograph by Stevie Chris

Is your job fulfilling? Are the kids you teach happy? If you lucked into a grand, would you spend it on your students or yourself? We put our teachers on the spot about job satisfaction, money, administrators, how late they burn the midnight oil and more.

How fulfilled are you by your job?

teachers like their jobs
As much as teachers like to gripe about administrators, legislators and standardized testing, they almost universally find fulfillment in what they do. It should be noted, though, that teachers at private, parochial and charter schools reported a 93% “very satisfied” rate, compared to 83% for their public-school counterparts. Still, two city teachers insisted on going outside our zero-to-10 scale, reporting fulfillment levels of 11 and 15.


Private- and parochial-school teachers who say the kids they teach are very happy — compared to 75% of charter-school teachers and 60% of public-school teachers.


Teachers in city schools who report feeling “very supported” by their administration. Only 42% of suburban teachers report the same.

How disruptive do you find cell phones to be in your classroom?

teachers like their jobs
While these figures were fairly consistent between city and suburban teachers, 37% of public-school teachers found phones to be very disruptive, compared to 29% of their charter, private and parochial counterparts.


Teachers in public schools who find social media to be a very disruptive force in their classrooms, compared to just 18 percent of teachers in charter, private and parochial schools.

Teachers who report spending more than $250 per year on their learning environment (decorations, cleaning, etc.):

teachers like their jobs


Public-school teachers who report spending $250 or more per year on school supplies; 31% of charter-school teachers and 8% of private- and parochial-school teachers report the same.

We asked teachers what they would do if they came into an unexpected thousand bucks:

teachers like their jobs


Charter-school teachers who report spending more than four extra hours a day doing school-related work; just 15% of public-school teachers and 8% of private- and parochial-school teachers report the same.